The Conservative government, with its Parliamentary majority, is pursuing an agenda of fiscal austerity, cuts to public services and jobs and a renewed determination to attack trade union righs, all while giving further tax breaks to corporations.
Ottawa (07June 2012) - A report released this week in Switzerland by the International Trade Union Confederation (ITUC) accuses the Canadian government of leading an attack on worker rights and for signaling to the country’s provinces and territories that it’s “open season” on freedom of association and collective bargaining.
The ITUC, a confederation of national trade union centres of which the National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is a member, released its annual survey of trade union rights at the annual meeting of the International Labour Organization (ILO) and reported on trade union right violations throughout the world.
The report provides a damning analysis of the situation in Canada and is critical of the Canadian government’s disregard for the freedom of association, despite Supreme Court rulings that make it a cornerstones of industrial relations in the country.
From back to work legislation, to denial of bargaining rights to certain classes of workers, to the implementation of essential services legislation and the use of strikebreakers to undermine job actions, ITUC reports that "Not surprising is the rise of many laws under Federal, Provincial or Territorial jurisdictions that provide little statutory protection to organize, bargain collectively or strike for a growing number of workers."
A 2011 Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) report on income inequality among 34 industrialized nations reported a rise in income inequality in Canada due to widening disparities in labour earnings since the 1980s, including a particularly steep increase in the income share of the top one percent.
Calls for redress by union workers through collective bargaining have been met with attacks on trade union rights, with Canada now setting the current record for freedom of association complaints to the International Labour Organization (ILO), unsurpassed by any other industrialized member State.
The National Union of Public and General Employees (NUPGE) is one of Canada's largest labour organizations with over 340,000 members. Our mission is to improve the lives of working families and to build a stronger Canada by ensuring our common wealth is used for the common good. NUPGE